Article 23 Salaries
This is a reminder tomorrow (November 10) there will be another bargaining session. UCF responded to our 3.5% increase by stating they will stay at their 2.5% raise offer. You can read their draft article here. https://www.collectivebargaining.ucf.edu/proposals/2021-2024FB/A23BOT01.pdf
We will respond to them at the bargaining session which will be tomorrow November 10 at 1:30pm. You can join us by Zoom at this link. https://events.ucf.edu/event/2270805/faculty-collective-bargaining/
Academic Freedom and UF
I know many of you have been keeping up with events at the University of Florida where three professors were declined in their conflict of interest forms to act as expert witnesses in a legal case against Florida voting legislation. They are all experts in the field and UF initially determined that they would represent a conflict since the fortunes of the university are tied up with those of state government. The President of UF reversed himself on Friday. You can read about the latest in this here. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/11/08/uf-says-professors-can-be-paid-experts-theyre-suing-anyway
The UCF Faculty Senate met last Thursday and passed a resolution titled “On a Violation of Academic Freedom Within the Florida State University System.” During this discussion the UCF Faculty Senate Chair said Interim Provost Michael Johnson believes faculty should testify as expert witnesses even if it is against the state and there has been no policy at UCF to prohibit faculty from testifying even if it has been against the state. You can see the resolution and debate surrounding the issue here at the UCF Faculty Senate recording https://youtu.be/_S3jDdaR6zE?t=5207
Florida Legislative Update
I received an update from UFF that there is no current draft bill abolishing or revising tenure pending in any committee with the Florida legislature. This does not mean there eventually will not be one, it just means at the moment there is not one.
SB 242: Racial and Sexual Discrimination which targets anti-racism training and prohibits “divisive concepts” or race and sex “scapegoating” would impact college and university campuses statewide should this become legislation. It is now in the Judiciary; Governmental Oversight and Accountability; Rules Committees. https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/242
HB 6007: Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons or Firearms would allow open carry on campus. This draft bill has been filed with the Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee. https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/6007
SB 520: Public Records and Public Meetings which would allow university president searches to remain outside of public view and scrutiny. It has been referred to the Education; Governmental Oversight and Accountability and the Rules Committees. https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/520
HB 6055: Postsecondary Out-of-State Fee Waivers This draft bill would not allow any out of state waivers for students at public Florida colleges and universities. It is now with the Post-Secondary Education & Lifelong Learning Subcommittee.
There is some interest in an “Intellectual Freedom” Bill which would repeal HB 233 the “Intellectual Diversity” legislation passed in the last legislative session. The draft legislation does not have a bill number yet.
Bargaining Session Tomorrow (10-27-2021)
We will have a bargaining session tomorrow (Wednesday October 27, 2021) at 1:30pm. We hope to hear a response to our counter offer on Article 23: Salaries. We responded with a 3.5% raise at the last session. Please attend if you can make it and learn about the bargaining process and hear the latest about Article 23. You can access the bargaining session virtual on Zoom here. https://events.ucf.edu/event/2247034/faculty-collective-bargaining/
Tenure at the University of Hawaii
The University of Hawaii is the latest university to consider revising tenure with post tenure review and means to terminate faculty. The measure was halted because faculty organized and came out to protest the measure. Our union is keeping tabs on the Florida Legislature and any attempts to revise or abolish tenure in the state and we will update you to this and other legislation impacting higher education in Florida.
Greetings all, I have some quick updates and reminders:
Bargaining on Wednesday October 13th
Our Bargaining Team will be at the next bargaining session where we will address Article 23: Salaries again. You can read the UCF response to our salaries proposal here: https://www.uffucf.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/23BOT01092221.pdf
Please join us on Wednesday October 13th and support our Bargaining Team and witness the debate and discuss over Article 23 Salaries. You can get access to the Zoom link here: https://events.ucf.edu/event/2247023/faculty-collective-bargaining/
We got a lot of great feedback from you all concerning UCF’s proposal for a 2.5% raise. Please attend so you can learn where we are in this important process.
Article 23:Salaries Town Hall
The Bargaining Team will be hosting an information and feedback town hall session on Article 23: Salaries. There we can answer your questions and concerns many of you raised in our previous survey. It will be held Wednesday October 20 at 4pm on Zoom. You can register for the town hall Contact email@example.com for information on how to register for the town hall.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Reminder on Ratification
Don’t forget we are ratifying the COVID MOU #4 Fall 2021. The ratification vote is online. Directions for how to can be downloaded at this link. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1y6KSKu5yx0-KuL8OG5K7meTk9wAOkvFx/view?usp=sharing
Reminder Vaccination Buttons
UFF-UCF has purchased buttons for employees in and out of the bargaining unit to wear that say “Maksed & Vaccinated.” We will be giving these out throughout the rest of the semester. UCF keeps reminding us that we are prohibited from asking anyone if they have been vaccinated, but there are no prohibitions against disclosing this yourself to make the rest of our university community feel safe during our current pandemic. We will provide the buttons to anyone in the bargaining unit, adjuncts, graduate student assistants or teaching assistants. UCF has a “don’t ask” policy, but the union is trying to encourage a display and promote a mask and vaccination culture around campus. Please be part of the solution to get our vaccination numbers up and promote mask wearing. Request buttons for you and your colleagues by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Think of the people around you, mask up, get vaccinated and hand people in your unit buttons who may want them.
Update on Raises Article 23 Salaries
Our union is currently negotiating Article 23 Salaries which includes a raise proposal. Our original proposal was for a 3.5% raise for this year (and the same for the following two years). We submitted this back in February of 2021. You can read it here: https://www.uffucf.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/23UFF01022421.pdf
We finally received a response (September 23, 2021) from UCF and they are offering us a 2.5% increase . You can read their proposal here. https://www.uffucf.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/23BOT01092221.pdf
Please share your thoughts to UCF’s counter proposal to Article 23 Salaries.
UFF-UCF has purchased buttons for employees in and out of the bargaining unit to wear that say “Masked & Vaccinated.” We will be giving these out throughout the rest of the semester at events where you can meet union leadership and receive a button and other goodies. UCF keeps reminding us that we are prohibited from asking anyone if they have been vaccinated, but there are no prohibitions against disclosing this yourself to make the rest of our university community feel safe during our current pandemic. We will provide the buttons to anyone in the bargaining unit, adjuncts, graduate student assistants or teaching assistants. UCF has a “don’t ask” policy, but the union is trying to encourage a display and promote a mask and vaccination culture around campus. Please be part of the solution to get our vaccination numbers up and promote mask wearing. Request buttons for you and your colleagues by emailing me at email@example.com. Think of the people around you, mask up, get vaccinated and hand people in your unit buttons who may want them.
You can see a photo of the button here.
Update on Ratification
Don’t forget we are ratifying the COVID MOU #4 Fall 2021, everyone (not only members) are elligable to vote. The ratification vote is online. Directions for how to vote can be downloaded at this link. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1y6KSKu5yx0-KuL8OG5K7meTk9wAOkvFx/view?usp=sharing
COVID #4 Fall MOU
Don’t forget tomorrow (Wednesday September 29) begins online ratification of the COVID #4 Fall MOU 2021. You can read the MOU here. https://www.uffucf.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/CovidMOU4TA.pdf
Statement on FL Political Overreach
UFF-UCF Council passed the following statement titled, “Statement on FL Political Overreach.” Our union’s governing body decided it was important to release this statement since many of our university leaders have remained silent in the face of a new era of political intimidation and threats of academic freedom targeted at our university communities. Please read over it and share this statement on your social media. https://www.uffucf.org/2021/09/20/statement-on-fl-political-overreach/
It was a year ago, Labor Day 2020, when your newly elected leadership team first messaged everyone to let you know the force and power of your collective voice. One year later and we want you to know that our voice is louder and more focused than ever. On this national holiday we reflect on the common good the labor movement brought to the lives of the American worker, including the standardized workday, overtime pay and the right to organize.
I would like us to recognize our own achievements over the past year on this day of reflection. Our bargaining team negotiated COVID MOUs throughout the last academic year and is currently negotiating a COVID MOU for fall of 2021. In the fall of 2020 our bargaining team successfully negotiated a racism and discrimination MOU. Our union was successful in an Unfair Labor Practice charge against UCF in March of 2021 and we worked with UCF to reel back various policies concerning conflict of interest within colleges that violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Our union defended us as professional educators and public intellectuals when the governor and state legislators attacked us to score cheap political points and proposed bills to weaken the faculty college and university unions throughout the state. We distributed N-95 masks to all instructors of record including adjuncts and graduate students because during this pandemic crisis we thought it important to be good neighbors and community leaders as state lawmakers and education bureaucrats decided to look the other way during our greatest daily average peak so far in the pandemic. When university leadership remained silent as state lawmakers created a strawman out of critical race theory and demagogued us as “Marxist indoctrination centers,” our union stood up and loudly said “NO.”
Our success over the past year is in direct proportion to your support of our union. You’ve individually reached out to us, attended our town halls to voice your concerns and attended bargaining sessions in solidarity with our bargaining team. Union leadership thanks you all and are in debt to you, your support has made the difference. We expect that support will continue to grow as we build into the next year. I have told our UFF-UCF Council, coming into our second year, that we all helped to build a better union, now our job is to build a greater union.
Before we celebrate prematurely, we in union leadership recognize the pressures and difficult working conditions that have been thrust upon us. We know you all are working during conditions which prevent a return to normalcy. Within the limited and narrow channels we have to operate to enact change we are doing the best we can to address our common concerns. We hope you are taking this Labor Day to rest, spend time with your loved one and have at least one day away from the stress and anxiety of our fall return to normal. When we return tomorrow, our union will be busy advocating for you, addressing your concerns and continuing to build a community of support where our local and state leaders have let us down. This is the job of a union, this is the job of our union.